A request from a reader for the weather report for Toronto reminded me that Canada is rather sadly neglected here.
So I recalled a great New Yorker article by Calvin Trillin about poutine, a Quebec invention he said could become the national food of Canada.
(Trillin also did a New Yorker piece on boudin, in which he correctly told how to eat it: “squeezed hot into the mouth from a sausage casing, usually in the parking lot of a grocery store and preferably while leaning against a pickup.”)
He says “an outlander who hears a description of poutine in its basic form — French fries with cheese curds and brown gravy — is likely to think that it sounds, well, disgusting.”
It doesn’t sound like a south Louisiana dish, so I was surprised to find it in Baton Rouge, at Leroy’s on Nicholson Drive.
Having poutine so close to LSU might be explained by a line in Trillin’s article: “It has a strong association with late-night eating by young people who have had a lot to drink.”
Robby Zeringue says his son Matthew and wife, Candace, are off to Dallas for LSU’s game with the TCU Horned Frogs.
Robby says of Matthew, “He’s not worried about packing clothes, hotel accommodations or any of the usual things a traveler would be concerned about. It’s all about packing frog legs.”
(The legs, of course, will be fried while tailgating.)
If LSU fans get footsore from tromping about Dallas, Molly Thayer says she can help:
“I was born and raised in Baton Rouge. I own ‘lou lou’ on Lovers Lane (in the current D Magazine as readers’ choice for Best Shoe Store in Dallas for the fourth year in a row).”
And she’s offering visiting LSU fans a discount.
Mike Blouin says, “At a recent get-together, my Gautreau cousins were reminiscing about their leather-helmet football careers at Gonzales High School.
“Terry, an offensive guard, recalled an extremely muddy game in which the quarterback was finally sacked in the fourth quarter. In the huddle, he chewed out the offensive line for getting his uniform dirty.
“Not to be outdone, ‘Brer’ recalled being knocked out cold in a game, and waking up in the locker room attended by the school principal and the only doctor who answered the stadium page — a gynecologist!”
“MawMaw Betty,” of French Settlement, says that while Louisiana men may love to cook, she also enjoys the kitchen.
“Could that be why he is 64 years old, but they don’t want him to retire next year? Maybe it’s just ME they want to keep.”
Ivy M. Laurent, of Metairie, says when she lost the wedding ring she had worn for some 69 years she called Zuppardo’s Supermarket, where she had shopped that day:
“Joey Zuppardo asked me to describe the ring, then said, ‘I am wearing it on my little finger; come and pick it up.’
“I would dearly love to know who found my ring — to give them a thousand thanks.”
Tonya G. Robertson says cooks are needed for a “Men Are Cooking for YLA!” event Nov. 23 to benefit the Young Leaders Academy. Each dish must serve 100 to 125 people.
Contact (225) 346-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard Guidry, of Zachary, has a tale of embarrassment:
“When I was around 8, my family went on a vacation to St. Louis. We went to the zoo and a Cardinals baseball game.
“At the game, my dad and I found a lighted sign saying ‘Men,’ so we strolled into the restroom.
“We were faced by a large number of squawking females yelling at us to get out.
“Exiting in a hurry, we looked at the sign again. The ‘WO’ in front of ‘MEN’ was burned out.
Charles M. Hughes, of Zachary, says when great-granddaughter Gracie was being potty-trained, her parents took her on a vacation to a beachfront condo.
When they returned, Gracie proudly reported that “I pottied in the Congo!”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.
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